Brands in the News

How COVID is Sparking Innovation in Kellogg’s Branding Program

8 Jul , 2020  

COVID 19 is causing disruption for brands all over the world. It is also sparking innovation. Recently I’ve seen this happen with the executive education branding program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Disruption and Innovation Perhaps my favorite topic to teach is defensive strategy. When competitors attack, brands have to defend aggressively. Failing […]

Presenting

Spring Teaching and Zoom: The Student Feedback

30 Jun , 2020  

Last weekend I sat down and read through the student feedback from my spring quarter Biomedical Marketing courses. Reviewing student feedback is always a strange experience. There are the positive comments, and these are delightful. It is a pleasure to hear from students that they learned something and valued all the effort that went into […]

Career Advice

Financial Advice for Graduates – 2020

17 Jun , 2020  

If you follow my blog, you know that each year about this time I post some financial advice. It is primarily for the new Kellogg MBAs about to graduate, but I think it is relevant for anyone starting out on a new career. The advice is based more on hard-learned lessons than advanced financial modeling. […]

Brands in the News

Ashley’s Story and How Trump Might Win in November

9 Jun , 2020  

The world is a complicated place, and people don’t like complexity. Marketers can succeed if they can simplify the decision process. This is one reason brands are so powerful: a strong brand simplifies choice. With this idea in mind, the fall presidential election is shaping up to be complicated for Joe Biden. Ashley’s Story One […]

Brands in the News

Figuring Out the Fall Quarter

6 May , 2020  

How do universities reopen in the fall? That is the urgent question at hand. This is a difficult issue. Most schools seem to be still figuring it out and not saying too much. Cristina Paxson, president of Brown, wrote a powerful editorial for the New York Times. Robert Robbins, president of University of Arizona this […]

Presenting

Zoom Teaching – Week Four Observations

30 Apr , 2020  

I am now in my fourth week of teaching on Zoom; so far I’ve taught 21 class sessions and I’m starting to feel more settled. I also did a round of student feedback. Here are some observations on the transition. It Works My biggest learning is that Zoom teaching works. I can present material, answer […]

Brands in the News

Reopening: Conflict Ahead

17 Apr , 2020  

A month ago I predicted that the world would shut down in a bid to slow the spread of the Corona virus, partly because health leaders did a very poor job explaining why it was important to shelter in place. In the absence of a compelling message, government leaders would have to use force to […]

Career Advice

Making the Transition to Online Teaching

1 Apr , 2020  

I am a few days away from teaching my first official online class. The past week has been a blur of webinars and Zoom discussions. I am not ready for the new quarter, but I am getting there. Here are four things I’ve learned. Online Teaching is Better Online teaching is an improvement, at least […]

Brands in the News,Career Advice

Time to Update the Marketing Plan

18 Mar , 2020  

Many companies develop annual marketing plans. This is a natural approach – it aligns with the fiscal calendar of most firms, and it matches the natural pace of the year. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to revise the plan mid-stream. This is one of those times. A Different World Things have changed dramatically for companies […]

Brands in the News

The Coming Shutdown

16 Mar , 2020  

We are headed for lock-down. The specifics will vary from place to place, but more and more governments will be imposing regulations preventing people from venturing out. Yesterday Illinois joined many other nations and states and closed all restaurants. When you look at this with a marketing lens, the outcome is quite certain. The Virus […]

Career Advice,Presenting

Transitioning to Online Teaching – Initial Thoughts

13 Mar , 2020  

Like many professors, I’ll now be teaching remotely. Northwestern has cancelled in-person classes for a while and shifted everything online. The move brings up a lot of interesting questions about communication and presenting. I’ll share my learnings as I navigate the transition. Here are three initial observations. This Won’t Be Easy A few of my […]

Brands in the News

Vail’s Lift Line Branding Disaster

3 Mar , 2020  

If you are a Colorado skier, you’ve probably seen videos of Vail’s absolutely incredible lift lines. If you haven’t, well, take a look. The videos are terrifying for a skier; waiting in a lift line is always painful, but an epic lift line is astonishingly bad. Imagine being stuck in a line for an hour […]